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Toluca owns the summer seasons. This much is certain after their month-long goal-scoring binge in the playoffs last season.

Winter seasons, though, have been very much up for grabs the past few seasons with seemingly everybody but Toluca making a title run.

This season should be wide open. Pumas improved by leaps and bounds last season and must prove their season wasn't a fluke. America, as usual, brought in the biggest foreign name, Colombia's Frankie Oviedo, and will be tough to deal with. Atlas should continue improving and Cruz Azul could bounce back. And, of course, Toluca brings a great team to the mix.

Adding to the uncertainty of the winter, more than 100 players changed uniforms this offseason. Two of them -- Luis Hernandez and Cuauhtemoc Blanco -- left the country, possibly for good.

Here are previews to help usher in the new season.

America
Summer 2000: 6-6-5, 23 points, 36 goals scored, 31 goals allowed.
Finish: Missed
playoffs by one point.
Winter 99: 8-5-4, 28 points, 31 goals scored, 18 points allowed.
Finish: Lost to Cruz Azul in semifinals.
Key departures: F Cuauhtemoc Blanco (Valladolid, Spain), F Carlos Hermosillo (Atlante), D Joel Sanchez (Atlante), D Raul Gutierrez (Atlante), D Isaac Terrazas (Irapuato).
Key arrivals: F Frankie Oviedo (America de Cali, Colombia), F Jesus Mendoza (Guadalajara), M Nicolas Ramirez (Toros Neza), G Hugo Pineda (Necaxa).
Update: Blanco is a tremendous loss. None of the new additions can adequately replace Blanco's leadership and skills. Oviedo is a major acquisition and can be counted on offensively. Midfielder Raul Rodrigo Lara suffered a knee injury while playing on the Mexican national team and could miss the entire winter season.
Outlook: Braulio Luna and German Villa must step up to help offset the loss of Blanco. The team is talented enough to capture the championship.

Atlante
Summer 2000: 2-10-5, 11 points, 16 goals scored, 34 goals allowed.
Finish: Last place in overall league standings.
Winter 99: 3-7-7, 16 points, 20 goals scored, 29 goals allowed.
Finish: Second to last in overall league standings.
Key departures: D Juan de Dios Ramirez Perales (Guadalajara), M Gustavo Napoles (Guadalajara).
Key arrivals: F Carlos Hermosillo (America), F Jose Manuel Abundis (Toluca), D Salvador Carmona (Toluca), D Raul Gutierrez (America).
Update: Atlante were easily the worst team in the league last year. The roster was significantly revamped. Abundis and Carmona were plucked from Summer champion Toluca. Abundis will pair up front with Hermosillo, who is already paying off dividends in pre-season games.
Outlook: At the end of last season, Atlante was the favorite for relegation. Now, with their revamped roster, the team is poised for improvement.

Atlas
Summer 2000: 7-5-5, 26 points, 32 goals scored, 29 goals allowed.
Finish: Lost to Guadalajara in first round.
Winter 99: 12-3-2, 38 points, 40 goals scored, 16 goals allowed.
Finish: Lost to Pachuca in semifinals.
Key departures: M Cristian Cassares (Morelia).
Key arrivals: M Jorge Collazo (Toros Neza), F Nestor Gutierrez (Toluca), M Edgar Solano (Necaxa).
Update: Atlas didn't do much in the offseason, which is not necessarily a bad thing. The rojinegros' potential was realized last season as the club emerged as one of the league's elite. Juan Pablo Rodriguez and Daniel Osorno are two of the brightest young stars in the league.
Outlook: Atlas needs its young stars to maintain their level of play. A title run would not be out of the question.

Celaya
Summer 2000: 4-6-7, 19 points, 23 goals scored, 28 goals allowed.
Finish: Failed to qualify for playoffs.
Winter 99: 5-8-4, 19 points, 19 goals scored, 27 goals allowed.
Finish: Failed to qualify for playoffs.
Key departures: F Carlos Pavon (Morelia), F Luis Fernando Soto (Santos). Key arrivals: D Edson Astivia (Toros Neza), F Pedro Resendiz (Cruz Azul).
Update: Celaya made the worst move of the offseason by letting Pavon go. Pavon is an exciting player with awesome upside. He was the lone bright spot in an otherwise dismal season for Celaya. What made the move worse is the team did nothing to replace him.
Outlook: Even with Pavon, the team struggled. Now, goals too will be hard to come by. Relegation might await Celaya.

Cruz Azul
Summer 2000: 6-8-3, 21 points, 38 goals scored, 33 goals allowed.
Finish: Failed to qualify for playoffs.
Winter 99: 7-4-6, 27 points, 29 goals scored, 18 goals allowed.
Finish: Lost to Pachuca in finals.
Key departures: M Julio Cesar Yegros (Pumas), F Pedro Pinedo (Pachuca), F Pedro Resendiz (Celaya).
Key arrivals: F Everaldo Bejines (Leon), F Emilio Mora (Morelia), D Alberto Macias (Toluca).
Update: Goals will not be a problem for Cruz Azul. Joining the talented Francisco Palencia up front will be Bejines, who broke out last year with 14 goals. Cruz Azul also added young striker Mora for the future. The team, however, did not address its defensive shortcomings.
Outlook: If the defense finds its form, the team could advance deep into the playoffs.

Guadalajara
Summer 2000: 7-4-6, 27 points, 25 goals scored, 17 goals allowed.
Finish: Lost to Toluca in semifinals.
Winter 99: 8-5-4, 28 points, 20 goals scored, 19 goals against.
Finish: Lost to America in first round.
Key departures: D Claudio Suarez (Tigres), D Hector Castro (Monterrey), M Paulo Cesar Chavez (Monterrey), F Jesus Mendoza (America), F Ricardo Pelaez (retired).
Key arrivals: M Gustavo Napoles (Atlante), D Juan de Dios Ramirez Perales (Atlante), F Sergio Perez (Monterrey).
Update: Guadalajara have undergone severe changes since the end of last season. Gone are defenders Suarez and Castro, two key components of last year's best defense. Chivas, who lack a quality goal-scorer, are now faced with a gaping hole on defense that needs to be filled quickly. Head coach Ricardo "Tuca" Ferreti was also sent packing.
Outlook: Best-case scenario: the new defensive arrivals offset the offseason losses, Alejandro Nava blossoms into a goal-scorer and Chivas qualify for the playoffs. But this is not likely to happen.

Irapuato
Summer 2000 (Second Division): 11-5-3, 36 points, 44 goals scored, 34 goals allowed.
Finish: Won Second Division title and promoted to First Division.
Winter 99 (Second Division): 12-5-2, 38 points, 57 goals scored, 27 goals allowed.
Key arrivals: M Isaac Terrazas (America), M Sergio Berti (America).
Update: Irapuato had a stellar season in the Second Division last year. The team scored an amazing 101 goals in 38 games. However, those numbers matter little now that the team will play in the First Divison. Irapuato reloaded its roster with more than 20 players from First Division teams, but most of those players were backups last season.
Outlook: The team has few players with quality First Division experience. One year is all Irapuato may last in the Mexico's top flight.

Leon
Summer 2000: 3-8-6, 15 points, 23 goals scored, 30 goals allowed.
Finish: Failed to qualify for playoffs.
Winter 99: 5-9-3, 18 points, 22 goals scored, 32 goals allowed.
Finish: Failed to qualify for playoffs.
Key departures: F Everaldo Bejines (Cruz Azul), F Hernan Medford (Necaxa), D Camilo Romero (Pachuca).
Key arrivals: G Carlos Briones (Tecos), M Joaquin del Olmo (Tigres), F Antonio Mohamed (Monterrey).
Update: Leon had two consecutive miserable seasons. So what do they do to retool? They let go of their two best offensive players, Bejines and Medford. In their place, Leon brought in the enigmatic striker Mohamed. The Argentine helped lead Toros Neza to the finals three years ago but failed to produce in his year-long stay with Monterrey.
Outlook: Mohamed will bring excitement to a team that needs it but he cannot replace Bejines' scoring touch. Leon's future looks bleak.

Monterrey
Summer 2000: 5-6-6, 21 points, 20 goals scored, 31 goals allowed.
Finish: Failed to qualify for playoffs.
Winter 99: 6-9-2, 20 points, 29 goals scored, 35 goals allowed.
Finish: Failed to qualify for playoffs.
Key departures: F Claudio da Silva (Pachuca), F Sergio Perez Guadalajara), D Ricardo Martinez (Guadalajara).
Key arrivals: M Paulo Cesar Chavez (Guadalajara), D Hector Castro (Guadalajara).
Update: Monterrey was quiet in the offseason but the few moves it did make were significant. "El Pirata" Castro was a force on Chivas' stingy backline last season. Chavez, a national team veteran, will help bring stability to the team's midfield. Goal-scoring remains a legitimate concern, though.
Outlook: Unless someone can step up offensively, Monterrey's defense will have to shoulder the load yet again.

Morelia
Summer 2000: 5-3-9, 24 points, 28 goals scored, 21 goals allowed.
Finish: Lost in first round to Santos.
Winter 99: 6-7-4, 22 points, 26 goals scored, 26 goals allowed.
Finish: Lost in first round to Pachuca.
Key departures: F Luis Garcia (free agent), F Emilio Mora (Cruz Azul). Key arrivals: F Carlos Pavon (Celaya), F Gerardo Mascareno (Pachuca), D Salvador Madriscal (Santos).
Update: Morelia pulled off the steal of the offseason in landing Pavon. The Honduran forward will be paired up front with the Brazilian Alex. The tandem could be one of the most exciting in Mexico. Also, troublesome coach Tomas Boy was fired and replaced by Luis Fernando Soto, who took Cruz Azul to the finals last Winter.
Outlook: Pavon and Alex should lead the team to the playoffs for the third consecutive time.


Necaxa
Summer 2000: 6-4-7, 25 points, 27 goals scored, 21 goals allowed.
Finish: Lost to Pumas in first round.
Winter 99: 9-5-3, 30 points, 32 goals scored, 22 goals allowed.
Finish: Lost to Cruz Azul in first round.
Key departures: M Edgar Solano (Atlas), F Sergio Vazquez (Tigres), F David Oliva (Tigres), G Hugo Pineda (America).
Key arrivals: F Hernan Medford (Leon).
Update: Necaxa limped to the playoffs last season and were no match for Pumas in the first round. The Rayos acquired Costa Rican international Hernan Medford to help forward Agustin Delgado up front. The loss of Pineda could hurt.
Outlook: As long as Necaxa have Delgado and Alex Aguinaga, the team will be successful. However, the squad took a lot of hits in the offseason. Another first round defeat seems likely.

Pachuca
Summer 2000: 4-8-5, 17 points, 18 goals scored, 25 goals allowed.
Finish: Failed to qualify for playoffs.
Winter 99: 7-5-5, 26 points, 28 goals scored, 28 goals allowed.
Finish: Won championship.
Key departures: F Gerardo Mascareno (Morelia), D Hector Hernandez (Santos).
Key arrivals: F Claudio da Silva (Monterrey), D Camilo Romero (Leon), F Pedro Pineda (Cruz Azul).
Update: Pachuca shocked the league by capturing the Winter title. That success, though, was followed up with a dismal campaign. The team brings in experience in Romero, who will help out an already tight defense. Claudinho will be looked on for offensive help. The team nearly lost talented midfielder Cesareo Victorino to Monterrey in the draft but was able to hold onto him for at least one more season.
Outlook: The streaky Tuzos have the talent and experience to get into the playoffs. Another title run seems unlikely.

Puebla
Summer 2000: 6-5-6, 24 points, 30 goals scored, 28 goals allowed.
Finish: Lost to Toluca in first round.
Winter 99: 5-7-5, 20 points, 19 goals scored, 19 goals allowed.
Finish: Failed to qualify for playoffs.
Key departures: M Jafet Soto (Tecos), F Martin Ubaldi (Pumas), M Roberto Medina (Atlante).
Key arrivals: G Oscar Dautt (Toros Neza).
Update: Puebla surprised many by advancing to the playoffs last season. However, the team did nothing in the offseason to build on that momentum. Ubaldi and Soto will be missed. Midfielder Alberto Garcia Aspe will be counted on to pull more of the load.
Outlook: Puebla is a middle-of-the-pack team. At best, the team could advance to the first round of the playoffs.

Pumas
Summer 2000: 8-5-4, 28 points, 29 goals scored, 22 goals allowed.
Finish: Lost to Santos in the semifinals.
Winter 99: 6-8-3, 21 points, 28 goals scored, 32 goals allowed. Finish: Failed to qualify for the playoffs.
Key departures: F Jesus Olalde (Tigres), M Antonio Sancho (Tigres).
Key arrivals: F Martin Ubaldi (Puebla), D Oscar Mascorro (Toros Neza), M Julio Cesar Yegros (Cruz Azul).
Update: Pumas were the darlings of Mexico after Hugo Sanchez took over as coach midway through last season. The team inexplicably let go one of its major contributors from last season in Olalde. Ubaldi, though, should replace the young striker. Sanchez must prove that he can keep up the momentum through an entire season now.
Outlook: Last season was not an aberration. Sanchez has worked wonders with the team and this year will be no different.

Santos
Summer 2000: 8-2-7, 31 points, 31 goals scored, 22 goals allowed.
Finish: Lost to Toluca in finals.
Winter 99: 5-7-5, 20 points, 27 goals scored, 35 goals allowed.
Finish: Failed to qualify for playoffs.
Key departures: D Salvador Madriscal (Morelia).
Key arrivals: F Luis Fernando Soto (Celaya).
Update: Santos advanced to the finals last season where they were promptly torn apart by Toluca. The team did little to upgrade during the offseason. Soto will help Jared Borguetti offensively but the defense could have used a reinforcement or two.
Outlook: Santos is tough to beat at home, having lost only once at Estadio Corona last Summer. The team, though, will be hard pressed to reach the finals again.

Tecos
Summer 2000: 6-10-1, 19 points, 22 goals scored, 33 goals allowed.
Finish: Failed to qualify for playoffs.
Winter 99: 7-8-2, 23 points, 26 goals scored, 35 goals allowed.
Finish: Lost to Atlas in first round.
Key departures: G Carlos Briones (Leon).
Key arrivals: M Jafet Soto (Puebla).
Update: The best offseason move Tecos made was the move that didn't happen. Rumors had forward Sebastian Abreu headed to America. Abreu stayed with Tecos, for one more year anyway. Abreu will benefit from the addition of Soto.
Outlook: At times last season, Tecos looked bad. Other times, the team looked terrible. Tecos' major battle this season will be to avoid regulation.

Tigres
Summer 2000: 5-5-7, 22 points, 25 goals scored, 22 goals allowed.
Finish: Failed to qualify for playoffs.
Winter 99: 5-5-7, 22 points, 27 goals scored, 23 goals allowed.
Finish: Failed to qualify for playoffs.
Key departures: F Luis Hernandez (LA Galaxy, Major League Soccer), M Joaquin del Olmo (Leon).
Key arrivals: F Jesus Olalde (Pumas), D Claudio Suarez (Guadalajara), M Sergio Vazquez (Necaxa), F David Oliva (Necaxa).
Update: Days after last season ended, coach Victor Manuel Vucetich was let go and replaced with Ricardo "Tuca" Ferreti, ex-coach of Guadalajara. Ferreti will have plenty of talent to work with. Suarez brings veteran leadership and defensive stability to the team while Olalde is an exciting young forward with a great upside.
Outlook: Tigres have missed the playoffs by less than two points in each of the last two seasons. Ferreti could give the team the extra push it needs to get into the postseason.

Toluca
Summer 2000: 13-3-1, 40 points, 44 goals scored, 28 goals allowed.
Finish: Won championship.
Winter 99: 9-3-5, 32 points, 40 goals scored, 25 goals allowed.
Finish: Lost to Pachuca in first round.
Key departures: F Jose Manuel Abundis (Atlante), D Alberto Macias (Cruz Azul), D Salvador Carmona (Atlante).
Key arrivals: F Nestor Gutierrez (Atlas).
Update: After Toluca won its third consecutive Summer championship, rumors had star forward Jose Cardozo headed to America. He silenced the gossip by signing a long-term deal with Toluca. Cardozo may be the one player Toluca could not do without. Abundis is gone but he missed all but three games last season.
Outlook: Toluca steamrolled its way through the Summer 2000 season. With Cardozo and Carlos Maria Morales up front, Toluca have a good chance of repeating.
 
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